Cyber Security Awareness Month is held to promote awareness about the importance of internet security and cybersecurity measures for organisations and consumers. It’s a great time for everyone to think about their cybersecurity practises and make sure they’re doing everything they can.

Everyone should take simple steps to protect themselves from frequent online threats and cybercrime.

• Used Strong Password
Passwords are your computer’s and personal information’s first line of defence against unwanted access. Your computer will be safer from hackers and malicious malware if you use a strong password. Have a habit of creating strong and unique passwords for every account that you are using. Make passwords using capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols that are at least 16 characters long. Using nonsensical phrases will also make a password more secure and hard to guess.

• Enable Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of ensuring that internet users are the real owner of an account by asking them to produce at least two pieces of proof to establish their identity. MFA solutions such as push notifications, SMS authorisation codes, and authenticator apps are available for online accounts. MFA technologies can alert you if someone tries to log in as you so you can change your password and protect your account.

• Backup Data Regularly
The fundamental purpose of a data backup is to keep a safe archive of your vital information, whether it’s classified documents for your business or priceless family photos, so that you can quickly and effortlessly restore your device in the event of data loss. Data backups on a regular basis give you peace of mind in the event of a disaster. Use an external hard drive or the cloud to backup your data, but make sure to use a secure password and update it on a regular basis.

• Keep Devices and Apps Updated
Cyber criminals frequently target weaknesses in devices and applications, so if you receive an alert from Apple, Microsoft, or Google advising you to install an urgent security update, do so immediately. The same goes for smart home devices or other internet of things (IoT) gadgets! If you continue to use an app without updating it, the more probable it is to have security flaws that cybercriminals can exploit.

• Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Attacks such as phishing, smishing (text or SMS), and vishing (voice call) have been on the rise recently. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something important like bank account verification, an offer from a famous online store or a notification from one of your online accounts that requires you to click or download something. Review messages carefully by double-checking the sender’s email address, keeping an eye out for poorly written or misspelled email language, refusing to accept MFA demands at face value, and lastly – following your instinct!

• Be Fully Informed About Cyber Security
Read about cyber security on blogs and in online news. There are numerous media entities that report on cyber security issues. A simple Google search will reveal many articles about cyber security. Cyber criminals are happy when their victims are unaware of cyber security because they can easily execute their attack. Give yourself an advantage by signing up for key activity alerts for your financial and social accounts. If you receive an email stating that your account credentials have been discovered in a data breach, change your password immediately and monitor your account for suspicious activity.